Relational Leadership (RL) skills have been a significant enabling factor in growing behavioral health integration at Women’s Healthcare Associates (WHA) clinics, leading to increased provider comfort with addressing mental health needs, and increased quality of care for patients. Our aim in this project is to distill the specific RL skills and concepts that have relevance to furthering successful behavioral health integration into Ob/gyn care leading to increased provider proclivity toward addressing patient mental health needs and increased quality of care for patients. Project Design In order to learn about Ob/Gyn providers’ experience of engaging with integrated behavioral health care at WHA we created a standard set of questions designed to be delivered interview-style to a select group of medical providers within WHA. We received support for developing these questions from the RELATE Lab research team (https://relatelab.org/ ). Our questions had 6 overarching themes: Change over time in the medical providers’ experience of interacting with the behavioral he program Extent to which the behavioral health provider is seen as a member of the healthcare team Impact of organizational workflows including behavioral health provider visibility in the clinic Individual behavioral health provider traits influence on medical provider utilization of behavioral health services for their patients View of the impact of behavioral health utilization on patient care Discipline-specific influences on behavioral health utilization Each of our questions was aimed at eliciting information specific to the influence of providers’ individual relationships with given behavioral health providers impacted their growing utilization of and support for behavioral health integration in the organization. Of note, all providers interviewed are also company owners as WHA is an LLC owned by medical providers. We initially selected 13 medical providers who have been with the organization during the time period that behavioral health integration attempts have been occurring. Of those 13 providers we ultimately ended up interviewing 10. Analysis After completing the interviews our recordings were transcribed and we used a variation of the Framework Method to analyze the transcripts, organizing responses into 3 categories. From this categorization we were able to illustrate some themes that were consistent across the interviewees as well as draw parallels to RL skills in order to recommend specific RL skills training that may contribute to improved integration of behavioral health services into ob/gyn settings. We were also able to identify themes related to potential integration barriers including challenges in understanding between disciplines, self-identified characteristics of medical providers and workflow challenges.
- Describe three skills inherent to relationship leadership (RL)
- Understand how RL skill utilization may contribute to behavioral health integration in Ob/Gyn settings
- Apply basic RL skills such as 1:1s and storytelling